The Longest Wait

He sits by the water, head resting on his hands, the night’s events repeating over and over through his mind.  He had planned it perfectly, or so he thought.

Flowers.  A private dinner at their favorite restaurant.  They talked.  They laughed.  He got down on one knee.  She paused.

She had stared at the ring until she bolted out of the restaurant in apparent embarrassment before he’d even had a chance to respond.  He had sat on the floor for uncounted minutes, feeling the uncomfortable waiter on the edge of his vision, not knowing what to do.  He had eventually stood up and walked out of the restaurant, down the street, and towards the water.  He had no idea where she was at this moment.

Here he sat, desperately attempting to figure out how they had gotten here.  If everything had gone perfect, why had it all gone so terribly wrong.

His mind replayed the past eighteen months in slow motion.  He recalled their first date.  What some would have heralded a disaster, his memories were bathed in happiness.  He had been late and she had been pissed.  However, he’d somehow made up for it in flowers, laughter, and a first kiss that brought a smile to her glowing face.

The months had flown by with a fury and, somewhere along the way, they had fallen in love.  She had said it first but he was quick to respond with a sheepish grin.  Parents were met.  Trips were taken.  Keys were exchanged.  A few months later, he was looking at rings.  He was positive she was it for him.  How could he have been so wrong?

She hadn’t said no.  That sentence rang in his mind as loud as a church bell.  It wasn’t much, but it was something.  He looked down at his phone, the lack of notifications screaming at him through the screen.  He dialed her number, sweating as it began to ring.


“Joanna, it’s me.  I’m by the water where we first met.  Please come.”

He hung up and noticed he was visibly shaking.  He hugged his shoulders as the sobs came, frightfully aware that this may be the end.  He heard footsteps and looked up, his breathing coming up short as Joanna’s face came into view.

The look on her face told him all he needed to know.


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16 thoughts on “The Longest Wait

  1. Nicely done. Always fun to read AND write something where you leave the twist right to the end. I also like the way you’ve passed time quickly but not disjoinledly. I find it hard to do that.

  2. ooh, no fair. This had better be the beginning of something longer!
    There are some lovely lines here: uncounted minutes, the uncomfortable waiter and “screaming through the screen” in particular. If I could offer some concrit, it would be that the tenses were jerky and confusing in places – easily rectified to give the reader a smoother ride.

    1. Great! Thanks so much. I’m always open to concrit and I’ve noticed that is something in particular I need to work on. Thanks again!


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